Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (July 19, 2023) said the government is trying to bring back the money siphoned off by BNP leaders to different countries.
“The money of many BNP leaders remains frozen (in foreign banks). We’ve been trying to bring these back gradually,” she said.
Hasina, also president of Bangladesh Awami League (AL), was addressing a meeting of the AL-led 14-party alliance held at her official residence Ganabhaban in the evening.
Criticising the family of BNP leader Khaleda Zia for ‘their corruption’, she said the World Bank stopped financing during the BNP regime due to corruption in the road sector.
The PM said the corruption committed by Khaleda Zia’s two sons Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko got revealed even before the foreigners and an FBI agent testified against Tarique in a money laundering case.
She said the government was able to return Tk 40 crore from the amount of money they (Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko) laundered to foreign countries. “But the problem is that bringing back the money from the countries where they deposited is a difficult matter. The countries don’t want to release the money,” she added.
Focusing on her government’s success, the prime minister said Bangladesh has significantly advanced in every sector since 2009 during the regime of her government.
“We can at least claim that Bangladesh has changed a lot in the last 14 and a half years. You can definitely realize it as well,” she said.
Hasina said her government has successfully brought the poverty rate down to 18.6 percent now from 41 percent in 2006, while the extreme poverty rate to 5.7 percent from 25.1 percent.
She said the government has been able to boost the production of foods including crops, fish, meat and vegetable, as well as provided free semi-pucca houses to 600,000 landless families and reached electricity facility to every house by raising power generation capacity significantly.
“We’ve achieved the electricity generation capacity to 25,000 megawatts within the 14 and a half years,” she said.
The PM said there is no shortage of rice and other crops in Bangladesh.
Noting that the government is setting up 100 special economic zones to generate employment, the PM said the unemployment rate came down to only 3 percent in the country.
She said the government continues its steps to create entrepreneurs by providing different stimulus packages and training to the youth to bring down the unemployment rate further.
“We’ve taken and implemented massive works not only for the infrastructural development of Bangladesh but also for its socio-economic upliftment,” she said.
PM Hasina said Bangladesh today is considered as a role model for development throughout the world.